Here is a story of salvation from the United Kingdom, shared to us by Counties, a charity which aims to share the good news of Jesus Christ with communities, through evangelism, training and resources.
I’m Justin (left, in photo). At school I was intelligent and in the top class for most subjects, but I struggled to interact with people. In my last ten years at school I rebelled because I felt let down and harshly treated.
I started hanging around with teenagers older than me, smoking cigarettes, which soon led on to cannabis. I left school at 15 and started work. My drug addiction began to take over; I’d get jobs but couldn’t hold on to them due to the drugs I was taking.
My life was now in a downward spiral as I started taking speed, acid and ecstasy. Drug addiction took me into prisons and mental hospitals and I nearly took my life on many occasions. The drugs stripped me of all morals. I didn’t value my life; I actually loved the drugs more than life itself.
I met my wife to be in 1999. At this time my drug taking had stopped and when my first child was born, I was happy. We were married, and I thought great, I’ve finally fixed my drug issues. But then my wife started drinking heavily and taking drugs again. She committed adultery and we split up, which totally derailed my life. I ended up in a secure physical unit where I almost lost touch with reality. When I came out, I never managed to take control of my life.
I loved my wife and kids dearly, but they felt far from me. After we separated, I fell deeper into the darkness of drugs using heroin and crack cocaine on a daily basis. I’d almost lost contact with all of my original family and everything I said I would never do, I did; such as injecting drugs and stealing from my family.
I brought nothing but shame and misery to them and I was no longer fit to be a dad, son or uncle. I could only see as far as my next hit and I would go to any length to get it, turning to burglary and petty crime to feed my addiction. I was in and out of prison and going round and round in circles, getting nowhere.
One day at a court appearance in Bury, my father spoke up for me and said that I needed help, rather than being sent back to prison. I was given a drug treatment and rehabilitation order.
One morning I woke up and watched with amazement as the sun rose in a beautiful blue sky. A change started to take place in my life and I know it was because people in my church were praying for me.
I spent my first drug-free Christmas and in the summer last year, my mother took me to church. At the end of the service, after Victor, a Counties evangelist, had been speaking, I committed my life to Jesus.
I love God and I love worshipping Him with others here at church
I have managed to make amends to my family. Thank you, God, for making my life whole again and for shedding light on my once darkened life. You have set me free from the chains of my addiction and I love life now, more than ever before. My mother and father have prayed a long time for my salvation. Through times of despair they never gave up hope.
I love God and I love worshipping Him with others here at church. I now see His creation with new eyes and marvel at it. One verse in the Bible which means a lot to me is; ‘…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Cor. 5:17 NLT). This sums up what has happened to me. This is why I want to be baptised; to show that the old life has finished and my new life has begun.
- for people like Justin, caught in the grip of addiction and for their families struggling to help them
- for evangelists sharing the gospel throughout the United Kingdom, through preaching, teaching, visiting prisons, leading holiday clubs and camps, Christian courses and in many other ways
- for new believers, as they grow in their faith and are supported and discipled by their churches.